Tuesday, 18 July 2017

CQC Places Kent GP Practice in Special Measures

CQC inspectors have placed Dr K E Wilcox and Partners (also known as The Medical Centre), in London Road, Sittingbourne, Kent into Special Measures following an inspection in March 2017.

Inspectors rated the service as Inadequate for being well-led and safe and Requires Improvement for being effective and Good for being caring and responsive to people’s needs.

Key Findings:

  • There was a system for reporting and recording significant events. However, not all staff understood what constituted an incident or near miss. 
  • Risks to patients were not always assessed and well managed. For example, those relating to recruitment checks. 
  • The practice was unable to demonstrate that there was an effective system for receiving and acting on medicines alerts from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. 
  • The practice did not have an adequate supply of medicines and equipment to respond to medical emergencies in line with national guidance. 
  • The practice was unable to demonstrate that it had a system to track the use of blank prescription forms throughout the practice. 
  • Data showed patient outcomes were low compared to the national average. Although some audits had been carried out, we saw no evidence that audits were driving improvements to patient outcomes.
  • The practice was unable to demonstrate that all staff had received sufficient training to enable them to carry out their roles effectively, and staff did not have regular appraisals. 
  • The practice had insufficient leadership capacity and limited formal governance arrangements.

Ruth Rankine, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice CQC’s South region said: “Our inspectors had previously carried out an inspection at the Medical Centre in June 2015 and this new inspection was to follow up on our initial concerns and focus on the work the practice had carried out since that first visit."

“It is worrying that despite the concerns identified at that first inspection, our team found a further decline in the standards and a number of additional concerns. Patients were at risk of harm because systems currently in place were not embedded well enough to keep them safe. For example, not all staff understood what constituted an incident or near miss, leaving patients at risk of being unsafe."

“With this in mind we had no option but to place the practice into special measures. We will re-inspect the practice within six months to check whether sufficient improvements have been made. If we find that the service provided by this surgery remains inadequate, we will consider further action."

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